A Brief Look at the Cutty Sark Clipper Ship

Some facts about the Cutty Sark clipper ship:

VITAL STATISTICS: Overall length, 280 feet; hull length, 212.5 feet; beam (width), 36 feet; weight, 1,079 tons. The tip of the main mast was 152 feet above the main deck.

BUILT: Launched Nov. 22, 1869, from Dumbarton, Scotland. The project bankrupted the builder, Scott & Linton.

MISSION: To speed tea from China to serve a British fad for fresh drink. The ship made only eight tea voyages, eclipsed by the rise of the steamship and the opening of the Suez Canal, which was unsuitable for sailing ships.

MAIDEN VOYAGE: Left London Feb. 16, 1870, under command of Capt. George Moodie. Arrived in Shanghai on June 2, departed June 25 with around 1,625 tons of tea. Reached London on Oct. 13.

SPEED: Fastest recorded speed, 17.15 knots; best day's run, 363 miles, average of 15 knots.

NAME: Inspired by the Robert Burns' poem, "Tam O'Shanter," in which "cutty sark" is Scots dialect for a short shirt or petticoat.